This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Get ready. The real battle begins, the Senate starting debate today on that health care bill. And if you think the majority party, the Democrats, have it easy on this one, think again. Not only do they have Republicans gnawing at them, according to the Gallup, the bill is losing support from you, the public. Forty-nine percent would either tell their members of Congress to vote against the health care bill, or they lean in that direction. Forty-four percent say they would tell their members of Congress to vote for it, or lean that way. The 44 percent number in favor is down from 51 percent just last month.
Former senator Rick Santorum joins us live. Senator, those numbers, do those send chills up the spine of Democrats in favor of this bill, or do they just see that as insignificant?
RICK SANTORUM, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR: No, they -- this is definitely not good news for the Democrats. And this is one of several polls. Actually, this is one of the better polls on -- on the -- on the Democrat bill, and all of them have been heading south for one reason, that the Democrats have now settled on two bills, one in the Senate, one in the House. The provisions are becoming well known by the American public, and the more the people see of this bill and they learn about the details of this bill, the less they like it.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's the strategy of the Republicans? Because the Democrats have the numbers in terms -- I mean, it looks like they have the numbers.
SANTORUM: Well, time is on our side. I think just what I said. The longer this bill sits out there, the more that this 2,000 pages of legislation -- there are things in there that I guarantee you, you haven't even -- even begun to hear of. The more reports that are done -- for example, the CBO came out today and said that if you are under this bill and if you are an individual, if you buy individual insurance, your -- your prices are going to go up. Your premiums are going to go up 10 to 13 percent as a result of this bill.
So not only isn't what -- what Barack Obama promised would be a cut in your premiums, if you are one of 16 percent of Americans who gets individual policies, your cost is going to go up under this bill. And if you're in a group plan, you're not going to see any savings, either.
So this is going to drive premiums up. Again, more studies come out, more information about what the bill comes out, time is the ally of the Republicans. And as a result, they are going to slow walk this thing as much as they -- they'll be filing amendments, long debates, make -- make the Democrats go through every procedural hurdle to move this bill forward because time is on their side.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, there are 2000-plus pages, and the fact is, is that not every member of the Senate is going to read it. So it's basically telling the American people, Trust us, but even those who are saying, Trust us, are having to sort of trust those who drafted it, which are some staffers someplace. Is that where we are?
SANTORUM: Right. Yes, I mean, the bottom line is that you're going to learn more about this bill by seeing press reports and organizations coming out and saying, Oh, by the way, did you know that this provision was in this bill? Did you know this is going to cost this much money? Do you know that your premiums are going to go up this much? So it's going to be not anybody sitting down and reading the bill, but it'll be press reports as well as special interests will come and say, It's going to drive up the cost of medical devices by X amount. It's going to drive up the cost of prescription drugs by this amount. Those are the kinds of things that the public is going to start to hear and make the decision as to whether they want this or not.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which goes back to the whole -- what you were suggesting, the issue of time. If I were running the Democratic side of this, what I would do is I'd want to (INAUDIBLE) quickly do it while everyone's busy getting ready for Christmas and the holidays, so people aren't paying attention, not late last August, (INAUDIBLE) a lot more activism. On the other hand, if I were the Republicans, I'd try to drag this out into the New Year and do everything I possibly can. It's almost like being in the courtroom between the two sides, lawyers, one side dragging it out and one side pushing it.
SANTORUM: Exactly. And if you listen to what the parliamentarian has advised the Democrats, the Democrats are going to have to be in session in the Senate virtually every single day between now and the end of the year to go over the -- to get over the procedural hurdles that the Republicans can lay in front of them in order to get this bill passed. So we're looking at potentially Christmas through New Year's, if they -- this sort of march to get this bill done.
Again, I think the public relations of that is not good, for Democrats to sort of force this over the holidays, try to do it when the public isn't paying attention, which is another thing going against them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir.
SANTORUM: A pleasure, Greta.
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